Sovereignties and Colonialisms: Resisting Racism, Extraction and Dispossession
April 30 - May 3, 2015
Hosted by: York University, Toronto

Conference Description:

Critical Ethnic Studies Association is excited to announce our third major conference, Sovereignties and Colonialisms: Resisting Racism, Extraction and Dispossession.  This gathering will honour Indigenous sovereignty struggles for land, culture, food, water, education, and health—and centre Indigenous, Black, and people of colour activism and scholarship, especially work coming from feminist, trans, Two-Spirit, queer, and disability struggles and perspectives.

Sovereignities and Colonialisms aims to critique settler colonialism and white supremacy; challenge colonial gender binaries; examine genealogies of anti-Black racism and colonial racial formations; and think about resistance and oppression transnationally, in ways that challenge western hegemony and the travels of racist and colonial methods.

For Full Schedule and Program, Click Here




Decolonizing Future Intellectual Legacies and Activist Practices
September 19-21, 2013

Hosted by: The Institute For Research on Race and Public Policy
The University of Illinois At Chicago


Conference Description:
Interrogating the limitations of ethnic studies today and counteracting these appropriations, CESA’s second conference has as its central goal the development of an approach to scholarship, institution building, and activism that is animated by the spirit of the decolonial, antiracist, and other global liberationist movements that enabled the creation of Ethnic Studies (Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Native American Studies, Arab-American Studies, Latino/a Studies, and Postcolonial Studies) and continues to inform its political and intellectual projects.  An un-disciplinary formation, critical ethnic studies has decolonization not as its goal but sees decolonizing as a set of ongoing theories, practices, imaginaries, and methods in the service of abolishing global oppression. Thus, rather than focusing exclusively on critique, critical ethnic studies stands for decolonizing as a generative praxis of world-making.


Rhoda Gutierrez | Reyna Wences | Beth Richie | Mariame Kaba | David Stovall | Leena Odeh | Alice Kim | Clarissa Rojas | Ella Shohat | Jin Haritaworn | Leanne Simpson | John Marquez | Robin DG Kelley | Lisa Brock | Scott Kurashige | Jessica Danforth Mia Mingus | Barbara Ransby | Cathy Cohen | Jasbir Puar | Craig Womack | Alexander Weheliye | Steven Salaita | Nirmala Erevelles | Dorothy Roberts | Cedric Robinson


Plenary Sessions:

Thursday, September 19, 2013 Evening Plenary

Another Chicago is Possible:  An Evening with Chicago Activists Engaging Critical Ethnic Studies


Friday, September 20, 2013 Evening Plenary

Decolonizing Intellectual and Activist Practices


Saturday, September 21, 2013 Lunch Plenary

Activism In and Beyond the Academy


Saturday, September 22, 2013 Evening Plenary

“What is to Be Done?": The Future of Critical Ethnic Studies




Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide: Settler Colonialism/Heteropatriarchy/White Supremacy

March 10-12, 2011

Hosted by: Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California at Riverside


Conference Description:

Ethnic studies scholarship has laid the crucial foundation for analyzing the intersections of racism, colonialism, immigration, and slavery within the context of the United States. Yet it has become clear that ethnic studies paradigms have become entrapped within, and sometimes indistinguishable from, the discourse and mandate of liberal multiculturalism, which relies on a politics of identity representation diluted and domesticated by nation-building and capitalist imperatives. Interrogating the strictures in which ethnic studies finds itself today, this conference calls for the development of critical ethnic studies. Far from advocating the peremptory dismissal of identity, this conference seeks to structure inquiry around the logics of white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy in order to expand the scope of ethnic studies. An interdisciplinary or even un-disciplinary formation, critical ethnic studies engages with the logics that structure society in its entirety.  As ethnic studies has become more legitimized within the academy, it has frequently done so by distancing itself from the very social movements that helped to launch the field in the first place. Irrefutable as the evidence is of the university's enmeshment with governmental and corporate structures, the trend in ethnic studies has been to neutralize the university rather than to interrogate it as a site that transforms ideas into ideology. While this conference does not propose to romanticize these movements or to prescribe a specific relationship that academics should have with them, we seek to call into question the emphasis on professionalization within ethnic studies and the concomitant refusal to interrogate the politics of the academic industrial complex or to engage with larger movements for social transformation.

Jacqui Alexander | Keith Camacho | Cathy Cohen | Glen Coulthard | Angela Davis | Gina Dent | Vicente Diaz | Roderick Ferguson | Ruth Wilson Gilmore | Gayatri Gopinath | Avery Gordon | Herman Gray | Judith Halberstam | Sora Han | Cheryl Harris | David Lloyd | Lisa Lowe | Wahneema Lubiano | Manning Marable | Fred Moten | José Muñoz | Nadine Naber | Hiram Pérez | Michelle Raheja | Dylan Rodríguez | David Roediger | Luana Ross | Josie Saldaña-Portillo | Ella Shohat | Denise da Silva | Audra Simpson | Nikhil Singh | Andrea Smith | Neferti Tadiar | João Costa Vargas | Waziyatawin